I hate writing this post. But I guess it needs to be said.
Duane, my blogging buddy over at the Black Informant, makes a pretty compelling argument defending Black Entertainment Television (BET):
Twitter and Facebook was on complete fire last night of folks providing blow by blow details of what was taking place on the BET Awards show. Ironically, many of the comments I was reading came from people who at times complain about how BET make all Black folks in the known universe look bad.
But somehow, the so-called All Minstrel Network was able to convince Black uptown that sometimes its okay to hang out at the jook joint. How were they able to do it?
It’s simple. Entertainment is the network’s middle name.
He goes on to juxtapose black people’s subscription to BET to their consumption of certain delicious – yet unhealthy – food. His contention is simple: for all the talk about how bad BET is for Black America, it is – and will continue to be – the hottest ticket in town.
Generally, I disagree with Duane’s conservative, Booker T. Washington-like thinking, but he’s absolutely correct on this one. Until or unless BET organizationally decides to hang it up, it will still be the source of black entertainment in this country – and probably the world. And while I concede the fact that BET did not became a global juggernaut solely because of the black consumer (black people don’t make up a large enough segment of the market to generate the kind of revenue and viewership BET enjoys), I also acquiese to the notion that black people DO still feed coins to the machine. It’s hard to fight that ongoing reality.
It’s for that reason I always get a chuckle out of watching people protest big businesses and organizations. Boycott all you want; but Wal-Mart will continue kicking the crap out of most retailers, Mickey D’s will continue being the king of fast food, and BET will continue to reign as the premier outlet for black entertainment. Consumers drive a business, and these entities have enough of them to live for quite a long time.